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Pictorial Speech Bubble

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/speechbubble_7356.PNG

A picture is worth a thousand words, and some Speech Bubbles do, in fact, contain just this: a picture.

Pictorial Speech Bubbles are generally used in two ways. First, to show the general gist of what the character is saying, without focusing on what their exact words are. Second, to represent the character's general mood, attitude or thoughts, even when he isn't specifically saying anything. It's not always easy to tell the two variations apart.

Rebus Bubble, Say It with Hearts, and Symbol Swearing are subtropes. Compare also Speaking in Panels.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: Davie.
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure: It's a common occurrence in Part 7:Steel Ball Run to have images peppered in character's speech bubbles, but is played completely straight in one panel where Gyro speaks and says nothing other an image of Diego Brando's head.
  • The second Lupin III manga series does this a few times with the Mars (♂) and Venus (♀)symbols during discussions of sex.

    Comic Books 
  • Gag comics such as Mortadelo y Filemón commonly have pictures in speech bubbles whenever a character is supposed to curse; for example, in the speech bubble there would be a pig with the face of another person if the character was angry and shouting at him, or just the picture of a turd when someone was supposed to say "shit!".
  • The Astérix comic books use speechbubbles with different typefaces to represent characters speaking in various languages. Egyptians speak in hieroglyphics. Once, when Obelix attempts to speak the Egyptians' language, his speechbubble is filled with badly drawn animals and stick-figures.
  • In Meta 4 by Ted McKeever this is how Gasolina talks. It's actually the font Dingbats, but the effect is the same.
  • In Polish comic book series Lil i Put ("Lil and Put") we are told that the language of the fairies sound like ringing of a bell, which is represented by drawings of ringing bells in their speechbubbles. As the story progress we get plenty of different variation on their speechbubbles such as fairy welcoming a person has a picture of doorbell ringing, fairy calling for help has a picture of a fire-alarm, fairy yelling loudly has a bell tower to name just few.
  • A two page Fozzie Bear solo story in The Muppet Show Comic Book has this as a gimmick. Fozzie's jokes are represented by a picture of a chicken crossing the road and a picture of a dog with no nose. Then Statler and Waldorf shout out a picture of a trash can. Fozzie repeats this with a question mark, and the hecklers respond with the trash can sitting on a block of ice with Visible Odor. And so on.

    Fan Works 

    Video Games 
  • In Theme Park, kids have this kind of bubbles hovering over their heads to show how they feel about your park or what is bothering them.
  • The Sims: The sims talk in these as otherwise they would be incomprehensible as they are Speaking Simlish. For example, a picture of fire for fire.
  • Web Game But That Was Yesterday. All of the characters who communicate in the game use this technique. For example, when someone wants to tell another character to "get up" or "jump", their speech bubble holds an up arrow.
  • In Jumper Three, Ogmo and the planet's natives communicate with each other using speech bubbles with pictures in them.
  • In Dubloon, when Russel saves Ricky without saving his owner Riley first, Ricky will ask where Riley is with a speech bubble depicting his head, to which Russel replies with speech bubble showing a shaking head.
  • The Prehistoric chapter of Live A Live has everyone talk this way, since spoken language doesn't exist yet.
  • The Maid Of Fairewell Heights: A Heart Symbol one, when in the Alice Shop, Marshmallow says:
    I have the power to have my way with my beloved darling, I can do ANYTHING I want with him! ?
  • Epic Battle Fantasy: In the third game, one of Natalie's possible victory animations has her saying a Heart Symbol.

    Webcomics 

    Web Animation 
  • The storytelling in Happy Tree Friends is usually limited to Speaking Simlish and actions, but this is still used on rare occasions. In "Doggone It", for example, Lumpy figuring out that the sound of a whistle is what makes Whistle go crazy is represented by him literally connecting the dots into one in a thought bubble.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Family Guy, when Lois revealed that her wealthy father offered them a million dollars after she and Peter were newly married, but she turned it down because "they could make their own way", Peter has a thought bubble containing an animation that showed him killing Lois rather violently.
  • In Tiny Planets, the Simlish-Speaking protagonists occasionally produce pictorial thought bubbles — which appear to be visible to other people. In "Spring Cleaning", Bong has an idea and, after failing to explain it with Simlish and hand gestures, produces a pictorial thought bubble which Bing examines and nods thoughtfully.

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